Makar Sankranti is one of the most important festivals celebrated in many states across India. The festival is mostly celebrated on the 14th of January every year and each state celebrates the festival in an entirely different way. Makar or Capricorn is a zodiac sign followed by Hindu’s and Sankranti means to change the direction. The day of Makar Sankranti is considered to be quite auspicious and it also marks the start of the harvest season in India.
People often consider that taking a dip in the holy river, fasting, doing charity, praying their deity will help them get rid of their sins. A number of families also offer special poojas on this day to please Lord Vishu.
Let us now have a look at a few facts related to Makar Sankranti.
- The festival of Makar Sankranti is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm in all states of India. People from North India, take a bath in the holy water of River Ganga and donate rice and lentils to the poor.
- In the state of Maharashtra, the first harvest of crops, especially of sugarcane is celebrated on the day of Makar Sankranti. People dress up by wearing new clothes and also exchange sweets.
- In Gujarat, Makar Sankranti is also known as Uttarayan. People take time and visit their loved ones on this day and also exchange gifts.
- Makar Sankranti is called as the “Pedda Pandaga” in the southern Telugu states. It means a big festival in English and is celebrated for 3 days. People also prepare a special rice dish with newly harvested rice called as Pongal. The dish is first offered to goddess Lakshmi and then consumed by the others.
- The people of Karnataka celebrate the festival by wearing new clothes and also exchange the first sugarcane harvest.
- International Kite Festivals are also held in a number of states during Makar Sankranti.
- In Bihar people follow a tradition of making Ghughutis.
Though Makar Sankranti has different names, it is celebrated with vivacity in every state of India.